Posts tagged ‘children’
Welcome to the Year of the Monkey! According to lunar astrological calendar, every year in a twelve-year cycle is ruled by a different animal—and as of Lunar New Year on Monday, February 8, 2016, the monkey is in charge! The monkey’s place in the Lunar Zodiac was established in the mists of time, when the Jade Emperor decided that a different animal should rule each year and, to determine the order of the animals, challenged them all to an epic race. The monkey finished ninth, earning it the ninth place in the Lunar Zodiac. If you were born in 1944, 1956, 1968, 1980, 1992 or 2004, this is your year. You’re known for being happy, confident and enthusiastic, no matter what place you finish in any race!
Cherished in China, Korea and beyond, Lunar New Year is a great way to introduce the children in your life to another culture’s traditions. Here are a few kid-approved ideas for celebrating Lunar New Year:
Have a Lavish New Year’s Eve Dinner
Traditionally, the festival opens with a lavish New Year’s Eve dinner held in honor of deceased ancestors. This meal is a time for all living family members to come together with the deceased, creating a united community to celebrate past and present generations.
In the past, family members filled bamboo stems with gunpowder and burned them to drive evil spirits away; today, people use firecrackers instead. Each is rolled in red paper, as the color red is considered lucky.
Send Letters to Loved Ones in Red Envelopes
The use of red extends to red envelopes or red packets that are traditionally passed out during the celebrations. The packets almost always contain money— sometimes chocolate coins— and the amount is always given in even numbers. The number eight, for instance, is considered lucky, as is the number six, because in Mandarin it sounds like the word for “smooth,” promising a smooth year.
Make a Paper Lantern
The fifteenth and final day of the celebration is commemorated with the Yuan Xiao Jie, or the “Festival of Lanterns.” Gathering under a full moon, adults and children light up the sky with their lantern displays and a lantern-carrying parade. Like the children in the photo above, learn how to make a paper lantern in the informational notes in Lin Yi’s Lantern, a gorgeously-illustrated Barefoot tale from China!
Share a Story to Learn More About the Culture!
Research shows that children (and grown-ups!) often draw incorrect conclusions about other cultures. In order to help children challenge stereotypes and develop global literacy, it’s important for adults to educate themselves and correct their own misconceptions. It’s easy to get started: just share stories from other cultures with the children in your life. It’s a great way to prompt conversations about diversity!
Keen to explore East Asian cultures? You’ll experience the excitement of a rural market in Lin Yi’s Lantern (ages 5-9), discover the warmth and wisdom of Buddhist thought in The Barefoot Book of Buddhist Tales (ages 6+) and meet “The Beggar Princess” in The Barefoot Book of Princes Stories (ages 4-9).
And, of course, be sure to watch the Jade Emperor’s epic race unfold—and find out why there is no Year of the Cat—in The Great Race: The Story of the Chinese Zodiac (ages 4-9). Find additional tales from China and beyond here!
Want more ideas?
For more information on the traditions and customs of Lunar New Year, and for recipes and crafts you can make with the children in your life, check out our Pinterest board!
Do you have any Lunar New Year traditions? What is your Lunar zodiac animal? Share your stories in the comments below or on Facebook or Twitter!
Are you looking for a fun craft to create with your children this festive season? All you need is some felt, card, ribbon and glue to make these simple decorations in the shape of a bird, dreidel, star and tree.
Last week, I went to a neuroscience-meets-psychology seminar in London about infant-parent relationships. It was delightful to be reminded how even the smallest babies are ready and eager to engage with the adults in their world and to tune into what is being shared with them. In the wake of this experience, I was very happy earlier this week to read the news from the American Association of Pediatrics that it will now be a requirement for health professionals to give guidance to young parents of the value of reading to their new babies.
You’ve probably heard the term “brain drain” tossed around in the media. What is it? Is it a real phenomenon?
Our best selling illustrator, Clare Beaton, was kind enough to create an activity just for us. It is such a treat to see her hand-drawn instructions!
I love the way books travel; the way they crop up in quite unexpected places. But when I went over to New Zealand last month to tread in my grandmothers’ footsteps, I never expected to encounter our very own Barefoot bear! You can probably imagine my surprise and delight when I learnt that Bear on a Bike was the very favourite book of two three-year-old twins whose Mum works with my cousin Jeremy Jones in Blenheim. Here are the twins, Isabel and Alice, with me and their grandmother and of course, Bear!
Try this craft from Micha Archer, the illustrator of Lola’s Fandango, and make your very own Lola doll! This craft suggests using red and white materials to recreate Lola’s costume from the book, but feel free to get creative with your colors and patterns. Let your duende move you!
2013 was an action-packed year for us at Barefoot Books. Here are some media highlights: